Freshman center Dexter Pittman was ranked as the No. 86 prospect nationally by Scout.com following his senior season. A three-year starter at Rosenberg Terry HS, he averaged 17.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a senior.
Pittman has made tremendous strides in his conditioning since arriving in Austin. Pittman reported to campus on June 1 for summer school at 366 pounds. He dropped 40 pounds during the two-month summer conditioning program, and he has continued to shed the weight during fall workouts. Pittman is now down to 307 pounds, a total loss of 59 pounds in the last five months.
How did you lose so much weight? By working hard every day.
Do you think people are going to count you out because the team is so young? People will probably count us out because we're young and we're not experienced. But we've been working hard since day one this summer, and we've got really good team chemistry already.
Coach Barnes says that you will be facing a tough non-conference schedule. Is that a good thing or a bad thing for this young team? It's a good thing for us. We're looking forward to it. The better the competition we play, the better we're going to be when the tournament comes around.
How much of an impact has the weight loss had on your footwork and are you satisfied with it? I'm not satisfied with my weight yet. I'm going to keep working hard, because I've got to keep thinking about five years from now. My footwork is getting better, and I can feel myself getting quicker.
How do you feel you can contribute to the team's rebounding success? I'm really comfortable rebounding the basketball. I can help the team in that area because of my upper-body strength and my lower-body strength.
What kind of regimen has it taken, diet and exercise, to lose all that weight? When I got here, I had to change my diet. I started eating grilled food. Coach Todd Wright said no more fried food or pizza or any other kinds of stuff like that until I got my weight down. I got up in the morning and came here by myself, or came in with D.J. Augustin, and ran. I also did a little extra before the guys came back to play pick-up in the afternoons. Right now that work is paying off, but I'm not finished with it yet.
What is it like feeling that much lighter? I feel like a new person. I can jump higher. I'm definitely quicker, and my footwork is better. My game has gone up another level.
Who has impressed you during workouts the most? The person that has impressed me the most is probably Harrison Smith. We're from the same city (Houston), but I never really got a chance to see him play. He's really quiet, and I think people underestimate him.
Have people been comparing you to Glen Davis? Yeah, some people have been comparing me to Glen Davis. I'm a little taller than him. I'm just looking forward to playing against LSU, because he and I have faced each other before. He's a great guy.
Coach Barnes says he's never seen someone with hands as big as yours. What do you think about that? Some people say that I have the biggest hands in the country, but I don't know about that. My hands are big, but I can catch the ball. The coaches here are working on my shooting form. So far, the changes are working.